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Should the UFC Institute a Code of Conduct Policy?

Posted on by Damon Martin

“All persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.’ This requirement applies to players, coaches, other team employees, owners, game officials, and all others privileged to work in the National Football League.”

Those are the opening remarks in the National Football League’s Code of Conduct policy, which reaches all players, coaches, and employees under the league’s control.

The policy has been somewhat controversial in nature because its reach can touch anything from criminal offenses to drug use, but in the past, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been accused of overstepping the bounds of the rule because players have been suspended or fined without ever actually being convicted of anything in a court of law.

Still, the iron hand that rules the NFL seems to keep things in check for the most part, and while players are still going to make mistakes, get arrested, or even get busted for drugs, the penalties that go along with those infractions are known well ahead of time.

With the recent arrests of both UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, as well as former Ultimate Fighter winner Ross Pearson, on charges of driving under the influence, and now with Octagon girl Arianny Celeste facing domestic violence charges, the question has to be raised: is it time for the UFC to institute a similar code of conduct policy?

According to UFC president Dana White, the promotion has no plans of doing that because they want to handle things on a case-by-case basis and deal with each situation individually.

“No, I’m going to take it as it comes. I hear this stuff all the time and it seems like a lot lately. This isn’t the NFL, this isn’t the NBA, this is a completely different business, completely different business model, and we deal with these guys, we care about these guys,” White told MMAWeekly.com.

“I don’t want our fighters at the end of their career to be broke and to not have paid their taxes, and don’t do this, and don’t do that. Then you guys look at the whole PED (performance enhancing drugs) side of this, and all these things going on, and then you at guys getting in trouble. There’s just so much that goes on.”

White points out that there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes than what’s actually viewed in the public eye, which would seem like an even bigger reason for some sort of code of conduct policy, but the UFC president says it’s not on their agenda.

When it comes to the use of performance enhancing drugs, the UFC has started to implement some of their own testing on top of already testing athletes prior to allowing them to sign with the promotion, as well as testing all of the fighters going onto the Ultimate Fighter reality show.

As far as legal entanglements, White says they will continue to look at each case individually and deal with the fighters personally without a blanket rule governing them all.

“We’re dealing with human beings and I don’t even know how you could do that. What, if you say this, this happens? You take it case by case and you deal with it as it should be dealt with, but the other thing that’s different for us is we’re regulated by the government, too. So it’s a completely different business model than any other sport,” said White.

Obviously if legal issues for fighters continue to hit the press, it’s only a matter of time before the UFC is forced to make an example out of somebody, but it won’t be because a code of conduct policy has been instituted.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/tommyblingshyne thomasabrams

    who gives a shit in the end unless its some unforgivable offense…theres enough drama going on btwn. injuries and failed drug tests…the last thing we need to worry about is issues outside of MMA

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003311915309 georgesperry

    “No, I’m going to take it as it comes. I hear this stuff all the time and it seems like a lot lately. This isn’t the NFL, this isn’t the NBA, this is a completely different business, completely different business model, and we deal with these guys, we care about these guys,” White told MMAWeekly.com.

    Apparently we are talking about a different sort of human here according to White.

    I think what he really means is he wants to be able to deal harshly with people he does care for and to give his buddies a break. That way he can cut Marquart for TRT and keep Sonnen. He can fire Edith and keep Arianny.

    It’s a private club, the UFC can do as they like. If he wants the constant criticism for his schizophrenic decisions he will go on like he does and if he doesn’t he will institute a code of conduct. Shrug.

    • http://www.bloodyfists.net/forums/index.php SHORT_BUS

      Are you aware that that was Marquardt’s 3rd incident with PED’s? Didn’t help that he left them hanging and without a main event just 24 hours before fight time either.

  • kylesmith

    It’s EXTREMELY hypocritical for the UFC and the athletic commission to punish Nick Diaz for doing something that he’s legally allowed to do and then Jon Jones crashes his car into a telephone pole when he’s wasted and nothing happens.

    • RonnieV

      Athletic Commission and the UFC are two entirely different entities. I guarantee you the UFC was rooting for Diaz to win his court hearing against the NSAC. They probably inroduced him to his attorney (Goodman).

    • MikeMc1983

      What nick is doing/did is a federal crime. He’s not “legally allowed to do it,” but nice try.

      • RonnieV

        Federal Crime? I’m pretty sure driving drunk nobody is legally allowed to do. I don’t know how legit Diaz’s medical marijuana license is. But if it’s prescribed to him by a licensed physician, he can “legally” smoke away in his own home.

        • Cptmats

          Sry, There is no where in the US where people can “legally” smoke marijuana anywhere Regardless of who says its okay ! California and Colorado state law says its legal for medical use but Its still a crime according to federal law ! That’s why the dispensaries constantly get raided and shut down by the DEA !

  • RonnieV

    NFL, NBA & MLB all have players Unions, and have league policies that the players unions adhere to. UFC does not want a fighters union!

  • gnodeb

    Nick Diaz ruined more then one event… JJ ruined his car… Do the math…

    • RonnieV

      I’m doing the math, and that doesn’t make any sense. What does driving drunk have to do with no showing for a press conference or a shady exhibition? Enlighten me please!

      • gnodeb

        I see no connection, that’s the point. Nick is pain in the ass, JJ is pleasure to work with. I see no reason for UFC or DW to threat them the same…

  • http://www.facebook.com/yannick.messaoud yannickmessaoud

    So normal human beings are allowed to make mistakes but not pro athletes. This is simply stupid.

    Everyone is allowed to make mistakes. Who cares has long has he learns from it.

    For the TRT and steroid remark, steroids have been part of sports since the early 70, now with HGH and other drugs it will simply never stop. I used to be against steroids until i used them to fix a chronic injury that lasted for more then 10 years. They are that amazing.

    I can understand that a fighter might use them to give them an edge, they wont make him a better fighter, steroids don’t make fighters, but they will make you train longer, have more endurance and make your recuperation a lot faster, also keep you injury free. That can make a huge difference in a training camp before a fight.

  • Booker T

    I don’t like what BJ Penn said. He didn’t think Diaz should have been punished. Hell, If I have any pot or drugs in my system, I loose my job.Nick still has his job.

    • RonnieV

      It matters what job you have, because very few actually drug test, and the ones that do typically only test when hiring. I wouldn’t be surprised if a third of Silicon Valley lights up, but they still work everyday.

      Not sure how this got turned back towards Diaz, was he arrested? He broke an NSAC rule. Jon Jones drove drunk, and could have killed somebody. The question is, should the UFC suspend people for stuff like this? I personally believe NO, because the Law & athletic commissions typically hold these guys accountable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1622917393 scottpryhocki

    A little perspective. These are professional atheletes. They should not be held to a higher standard than anyone else. If anyone is looking to an athelete for spiritual guidance or to split an atom they should probably check their premise. The free market will punish these guys if the do something aggregious. If their popularity dwindles so goes theier endorsement deals. If they commit a crime they will be punished, that is what the judicial system is for. People make mistakes and those that make them in the public eye will pay the price the public demands. Morals clauses and codes of conduct are a joke and rarely enforced and are only for the PR and ass covering of the organization. Bones made a mistake. Big deal. I am sure he is learling a valuable lesson, does he get a reward when he does someithing good that makes the UFC look good (didn’t he chase down a purse snatcher before a fight?)Let these guys live their lives and work their craft.

    • RubeKegal

      Booker T said it best though. If I did what he did, i’d be out of a job…For someone who is making over 6 figures per fight, you’d think they would take it as seriously as one can take it.

  • jessemalloy

    what do they want the UFC to do? its one thing to penelize the NBA, NFL etc.. players because when they’re mid season, they’re playing every week and a couple week-month suspension actually means something. Say UFC suspends Jon Jones, hes not fighting until september-october time anyway, so what the hell?

    • MaritalArtist

      Agreed. A healthy fighter should get at least 6-9 months suspension. An injured fighter, 1 year minimum.

  • drewlayda

    If Zuffa Inc. wants to evolve a point sparing, lay and pray, grease grappling powder-puff league, they are right on track. Problem is that we the fans (especially those of us that do 2-3 hours of MMA associated workouts per day) pay to see beastly animals that technically battle each other in epic displays of superhuman achievement. Not inspire some of us to ponder if we could beat them. No, I want to see guys, especially at my weight or lower, which put a sense of awe and intimidation in me, and I am referring to the average fighters; not just gatekeepers, contenders and champions. That type of person doesn’t belong on a Wheaties box, they belong in a cage.

  • plang

    did Arianny Celeste get in a argument with someone over the price?

    • RubeKegal

      sorry guys…I was negotiating the blowski

  • MikeMc1983

    I am personally a fan of letting the systems handel everything. Commissions and the law. If people complain about what anyone is doing because “they just don’t like it” the UFC should just overnight a box of tampax and midol.
    I know the world doesn’t work this way, but it’s what I’d prefer.
    Problem is everyone has their “cause.”
    People thought Michael Vick should have got the death penalty. When he didn’t, they wanted him banned from the nfl. (the dog lovers anyhow)
    The people who think driving while intoxicated is attempted murder will feel the same about jones. Everyone has their cause.
    When they complain…say your sorry, the overnight the midol…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000468891939 liemianbresenio

    I love these topics because I get to post the same thing over and over in big caps letters.

    *ahem*

    MELVIN GUILLARD DID COKE AND WAS STILL ALLOWED TO FIGHT, THEREFORE EVERYTHING IS LEGAL.

    Even if you post comments opposing the above sentence or my constant repetition, I still hear an auditorium of applause behind me every time I type it.

    • MikeMc1983

      Is coke the ultimate evil? Like there’s nothing worse? Rapeing babies? Torturing the elderly maybe? Nope, your right. Melvin did coke. He now uses the devils tail as a masterbatory tool.

  • clarkw901

    We don’t own the UFC, we don’t have a say. They can handle “issues” as they see fit. Just because person A seems to get away with anything while person B coughs wrong and is terminated immediately doesn’t mean it’s wrong, i’m sure we don’t see the “big” picture and there is a reason for this, but the UFC didn’t get where it is today listening to outsiders. If they don’t feel a need for a “Code of Conduct”, who are we to say otherwise? Just my 2 cents.